Indigenous People Reject Lake Toba Development Project



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indigenous community of Raja Na Opat living in Sigapiton Village protested the development project of National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN) of Lake Toba, North Sumatra.

    A representative of indigenous people from Sigapiton Village, Manogu Manurung, also expressed their worry about water availability considering the development project is set near their main water resource.

    “We fear the water debit to irrigate agriculture land will drop, while it is the only water resource we have for the drinking water and irrigation,” said Manogu in a press conference of the South Jakarta Agrarian Reform Consortium, Wednesday, August 21.

    According to Suryati Simanjuntak, a member of a study and development team that accompanying the community, the government’s measures that did not involve them sparked social conflict between local communities.

    “Conflict is rising between the people because the government, Tourism Ministry, sends people from Jakarta to the village and live there by renting locals’ houses. This increases a sense of suspicious of each other,” said Suryati.

    The Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) secretary-general, Dewi Kartika, said the infrastructure development of Lake Toba should implement methods other than dissemination. “On how the locals understand the risk from the development project,” Dewi added.